Pip Loader Shares
Teams of people working together are always going to have their nuances, but team fundamentals don’t change, regardless of what sector you work in or how big your company is.I call these fundamentals the 4 Well-BEings, and in my Leadership Programs, it’s always my starting point. A sense check, if you will, that the basic foundations are in place.
When they are, everything you find yourself doing in your role as a leader is easier. ‘Tough’ conversations become simply adult conversations because expectations and behaviours are clear from the start. The right work gets done because the direction and goals are clear, and people are accountable and committed. Essentially, when you get this stuff right, your people are more engaged, empowered and effective every single day that they show up to work. (Now, what Leader doesn’t want that for their team and business?)
To use the old cliché – you can’t build a house on rocky foundations, and your business and teams are the same.
Over the next few How-to’s from me, we will take a deeper look into what it takes to set these fundamentals, but in the meantime, as you read on, reflect on your own team against this list, tick off what’s there, and highlight what needs some work.
Here’s the high-level low-down:
The 4 B’s are: Believe, Belong, Behave, Become.
To build and sustain effective, engaged and empowered people, you need to ensure the 4 well-BEings are alive and well in your team.
Build belief in what you are there to do. Your people need to believe that what they are doing is for a worthy cause at a higher level. We need to give meaning to the work, and we do this with a strong purpose and clear vision, helping people understand the purpose of the organisation, why what they do everyday matters, and, importantly, who it matters to. It is also about Impact. The impact that you have on the world (however big or small you make your world – Global domination is not everyone’s thing!)
Belief is all about knowing your WHY, defining your value and vision, knowing your customer and the impact that you have.
We need to create a sense of belonging in our teams. Belonging is a primal need that all humans have. To feel a sense of belonging is to feel accepted, to feel seen and to feel included by a group of people, believing that we fit in and trusting that we will be protected by them.
Belonging is about building connections with people, having clear roles, and helping them know how they contribute to the team and the wider organisation's aspirations. It is also about valuing the uniqueness that each individual brings to the team so they can show up as their authentic self.
This section is about the conditions we work in and the environment we create for our people. Beyond performance, the environments that we operate in have a profound impact on our emotional well-being. This is where values and behaviours live. When we have clear expectations around how we show up in the workplace, and model the behaviours and values that we’ve said are important to us, it shapes the ‘feel’ of the place.
A great team knows what it is trying to become. The direction is clear of where you are heading, and the team and individual goals are aligned to this. There is no doubt in anyone’s mind what the mission is, who’s accountable for what, and people are committed to doing what it takes to get there.
Essentially, Believe and Become is your ‘Strategy’ – here’s why we exist and for who, this is what is important to us, our vision, here’s where we are going, and what we are going to do to get there.
The Belong and Behave is where culture lives (and sometimes dies when overlooked). This is who we are, what we do, and how we show up, for ourselves, each other and our customers.
At the centre of Team Well-Being is your STORY. Your team's identity story. And the 4 BE’s help you to shape how you talk about what you do. Well-articulated Team Storys help us talk to anyone anywhere about what we do, why we do it, who it’s for and why it matters. You can tell you’ve got a great team and story because when people talk about what their job is and who they work for, their face lights us and their eyes sparkle, because they love what they do.
So, if you’re teams a little wobbly, run through these 4 Fundamentals – Conduct a Team well-being check – and see where there might be gaps that need closing.
If you have any doubt or question marks over any of them, (sometimes our Leader Lens can be a little out of focus…) my suggestion is to ask you people. At your next team meeting, pose a question around the ones you’re unsure of and see what they say.
The wellbeing of your team and your people matters, so make the time to give your Team that check up. And, keep an eye out for the future ‘How to’ on the areas that might need some work.